Module 3 Week 5: Workshop Challenge


Leaning objectives 

By the end of this week you should be able to:

  1. Research and analyse the different ways in which graphic designers produce work collaboratively;
  2. Research and analyse the essential components of collaborative practice;
  3. Design, write and deliver an editorial piece illustrating a collaborative project that has led to an exemplary and historically significant piece of work (300 words plus imagery);

Design to change the world lecture

Isabel Seiffart and Christoph Miller, Directors

Isabel and Christoph are partners and they created offshore design studio in 2016. They carry out many different types of projects. Their clients come mainly come from cultural fields and are eg photographers, authors etc. 

Migrant Journal Project

During the fall 2015, hundreds of thousands of people from Syria set off for Europe. The conversation was very one-sided, so Isabel and Christoph wanted to create something that encouraged discussion. They devised six publications that talk about many different types of migration e.g. money, taxation, water, animals, people etc.: how migration happens and what is, in reality, responsible for the ‘mess we are in today’, including political factors / influence. Having started with just 4 people on the project, they now have a whole team working on different aspects now. 

They wanted to reconsider the relationship between editorial and design processes – keeping it as a collaborative process and avoiding the traditional hierarchies involved in magazine production. 

To improve the coherence of the magazine format, they used the reference of an atlas as a starting point: maps have infographics, typography, history, colour palettes, language so provided an instructive model.

So, for example, they used infographics to create an entry point into different topics instead of going straight into an article. It was important to create a font, which they called ‘migrant grotesque’, and they continue to improve this as they produce issues, which is like a migration itself. 

It is not just about the printed publication it is about going to talks, public editorial meetings to try and reach different audiences. This also allows time for the team to meet and talk together.

A magazine is a 3-dimensional product: they have a colour palette that they are working with; they emboss and try and make the publication very tactile. They want it to be stored in libraries in the future so that people can pick it up and decide if their theories were wrong or right! 

My view

After doing an extensive project on the migrants of Bordeaux in the last module, I am passionate about the topic. I know what a vast and complex the subject is and how much stigma surrounds the word. I think that it is wonderful that they have taken the word and examined it in all its very different manifestations, thereby encouraging conventional images and associations of the word ‘migrant’ to be challenged and questions to be raised about how we approach and apply the term in future.    

Speaker: Morag Myerscough, Director.

She has worked in the hospital environment with Guy Noble for around six years. She looks at how hospital environments can help relieve stress, depression and anxiety, lessen the need for medication and reduce pain intensity. 

She had already worked in many schools, but, six years ago, was commissioned to transform the dining rooms of several hospitals in London. She ran visual workshops with sick children and then made their favourite words and poems into art on the walls, bringing a part of them into the space and making it feel like home; she also re-designed corridors and other communal places. Following on from this, she worked with ‘Artfelt’, a charity that puts art in hospitals. She was commissioned, for example, with designing the children’s bedroom and ward space in a huge extension to the main Sheffield hospital. 

Initially her designs were too bright for children who are on heavy medication, so she went back to the drawing board, and introduced wood laminate, which made the designs much softer. She created scale models to help people visualise these design improvements, and, with a 92% positive feedback response, the nurses were won over. Having been given the go ahead, it then took a long time to choose all the colours and have the laminates printed. 

When you work on a project like this, success relies on it being a collaborative process, with everyone wanting what you are producing.  It is about remaining sensitive to the needs of those you are designing for, ensuring they will feel comfortable when they are staying with their children. 

Participation – is it an ongoing process? 

This project was not about participating but about the responses of people as an ongoing process, through seeking constant feedback from commissioners and users. It is important to come up with an idea, return to the users for feedback and then, armed with their responses, revisit and improve the concept.

Myerscough works from an emotional part of her being to ensure she retains a connection with the needs of people in the spaces she designs. Her designs evolve organically beyond academic reference points; she is aware that people who might on paper seem right for the job might not always be those capable of fulfilling the brief. 

My view

I think that the work Myerscough does highlights the way in which design can have a very different impact on not just how comfortable and pleasant a space can be, but also on the psychological and medical outcomes of the occupants. Our surroundings can strongly affect our mood which in turn can affect our willingness and ability to heal.     

Ken Kirton, Director

Codesign and co creation

They think they can create a more informed society through co creation. Hato Press is a community engaged project space, with all profits generated being put back into buying new equipment for the community. They believe in having a responsibility to the environmental and creative community. Setting up a printing press is a way of distributing content. This a very powerful as well as creating exchanges through distribution. 

Learning through play we can develop this notion of co-creation. How can we – adults as well as children – communicate with each other through creation?    

Space Bus 

Working with children to educate them through pictograms of things they like and don’t like. They looked at how NASA sent out messages into space and they want their messages to be on the bus for the future citizens of Liverpool. The children are the artists in this project. 

This inspired them to work with larger clients to educate adults about co creation and environmental responsibilities. 

D&AD festival 2018 

They designed a website which was embedded into the D&AD website. The idea was to create a mark or legacy. They developed a 3D drawing space into which you can place your own augmented reality drawing – creating 3D illustrations through your phone on the floor.  All drawings were recorded. They wanted to go through them and change the brush sizes and texture, which then people could download and share on social media.   

My View

In the case of both these projects, you can see clearly how a collaborative process has allowed the designers to collect important data from select focus groups and then use that data to create dynamic and innovative art forms. 

Sebastian White and Eva Kellenberger, Directors


They were given a square – Finsbury Avenue Square – in Broadgate for the brief as part of the 2018 Design Festival. Their resulting project builds on the pair’s fascination with typography as well as other areas of interest. They were influenced by a building in Broadgate called Exchange House, which is both a structural bridge and building over Liverpool Street station. 

How to they do something in the square that is interesting for people walking past it. How can typefaces reflect the identity of the space?

They developed a font that was dematerialised, in the form of a large number of typographical ‘stools’, in industrial paint colours taken from famous bridges around the world. These steel ‘letters’ are dotted around the square for people to interpret and interact with as they like, combining beauty and accessibility, and provoking reaction and conversation.   

My View

I like the concept of interactivity in design and how the general public can touch and experience the designs and take away from them what they wish. 

essential components of collaborative practice

the different ways in which graphic designers produce work collaboratively;


In the resources this week I particularly liked the link about Harri Peccinotti who was born in 1938. Peccinotti has many strings to his bow being a professional fashion photographer but he began his career in the 1950s when he was a commercial artist and musician (he played the bass trombone). At the time he was also designing record sleeves for big book publishers such as Penguin. He then went on to become an art director and photographer in advertising.

His art direction is widely known as he worked on some very well known publications including Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Vogue. after a while, he decided to become a full-time photographer and he quit art direction.

I like the fact that his work as a creative is so diverse and influential, it seems whatever he turned his hand to, he made a success of and had a unique style that stood out. To be any of the careers that he tried, you need to have a tremendous amount of collaboration. Art direction is all about working with a team to create the same end result. Peccinotti must have been good with people and good and directing them in a way that they wanted to work with him and come together as a team.

It is important to think about the way you approach people if you want to work collaboratively so that you bring out the best result from the people you are working with.

Workshop Challenge

What are the essential components of the collaborative mix?

Find one example of collaboration past or present that has led to an exemplary and historically significant piece of work.

Analyse the relationship of the collaborators and the roles they played;

Research any documented history of the challenges they faced and the outcome they produced;

Explore and analyse any specific approaches they took to their creative process or recording of their ideas that facilitated a successful outcome.

Design as an editorial piece (300 words), along with accompanying imagery.


Issey Miyake Design development with Reality Lab

Workshop challenge 300 words

A prominent collaboration that has had a profound inspirational impact on myself as a designer, as well as influencing a more sustainable movement within the fashion industry, is that initiated by the fashion designer Issey Miyake back in 2007. Miyake designed a range of innovative, forward-thinking garments that transformed from a flat 2D folded origami fabric pattern, to when lifted, a 3D clothing garment such as a dress, skirt, top or trousers. The fashion designer was inspired by and collaborated with the computer scientist, Jun Mitani, who creates three-dimensional structures with smooth, curved surfaces by folding flat materials. They used computer modelling programming to design the 3D digital garment forms, which were then mocked up in paper with the addition of cuts and fold lines that would allow the garment to be flattened. These garments were far ahead of their time, due not only due to their innovative structure, but also the fact that Miyake drew on his own Reality Lab, which is a research and development team that he formed alongside textile engineer Manabu Kikuchi and pattern engineer Sachiko Yamamoto. The Reality Lab is based upon the principle of collaboration and teamwork which works on seeking futuristic ways to create sustainable fabrics and stimulate creative production in Japan.  With a team of eight other designers and creators working for the lab, they explored and developed a way in which to create a sustainable, entirely recycled polyester. Seeing a desperate need to educate the fashion industry to the devastating impact on natural resources of contemporary production methods driven by unthinking consumerist behaviour, Miyake chose to pioneer eco-friendly, forward-thinking design, combining fashion with mathematics, computer science and textile engineering. Miyake was honoured with the Design Museum’s ‘design of the year award’ in 2012, in a diverse category including Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge and Mary Katrantzou’s Ming vase and Faberge egg inspired Autumn/Winter 2011 collection.  

Editorial Design 300 words

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